Sunday Update: Disney's Zootopia was off to a terrific start this weekend with an estimated debut of $73.7 million. The critically acclaimed 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios registered the fourth largest opening weekend ever in the month of March (behind only 2012's The Hunger Games, 2010's Alice in Wonderland and 2013's Oz: The Great and Powerful). Zootopia represents another very strong performer for Walt Disney Animation Studios and topped the $67.39 million opening weekend of 2013's Frozen to generate the largest opening weekend ever for the animation studio (though it should be noted that the opening weekend performance of Frozen was deflated from opening on a Wednesday). Compared to the most recent film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Zootopia opened an impressive 31 percent ahead of the $56.22 million start of 2014's Big Hero 6. A strong marketing campaign, having the current family marketplace largely to itself and exceptional critical reviews all contributed to the strong start for Zootopia this weekend.
Zootopia opened with $19.47 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.7 million on Thursday evening), increased 63 percent on Saturday to take in $31.76 million and is estimated to decrease 29 percent on Sunday to gross $22.48 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.79 to 1. Zootopia had clear four-quadrant appeal this weekend, as the film's audience skewed towards female moviegoers (53 percent) and towards moviegoers 25 years and younger (54 percent). Family audiences represented 73 percent of the film's overall audience. Early word of mouth looks to be especially strong for Zootopia, as the film received an A rating on CinemaScore and currently boasts a 95 percent Flixster audience score. Given its strong word of mouth and the relative lack of competition for family audiences it will continue to face throughout March, Zootopia is very likely to hold up well going forward.
Zootopia took in an estimated $5.2 million from IMAX locations this weekend. That represented the second largest IMAX debut ever for an animated film (behind only 2010's Toy Story 3) and 7.1 percent of the film's overall gross this weekend.
London Has Fallen debuted in a distant second place with an estimated $21.71 million. The action thriller sequel from Focus and Gramercy opened in line with pre-release expectations. London Has Fallen did debut 28.5 percent below the $30.37 million start of 2013's Olympus Has Fallen, but had been widely expected to debut below its predecessor. Instead, the film opened closer to the $24.85 million debut of 2013's White House Down. London Has Fallen was likely helped out a bit this weekend by the ongoing poor performances of both Lionsgate's Gods of Egypt and Open Road's Triple 9.
London Has Fallen started with $7.59 million on Friday (which included an estimated $850,000 from Thursday evening shows), was up 13 percent on Saturday to gross $8.56 million and is estimated to decline 35 percent on Sunday to gross $5.57 million. That gives London Has Fallen an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.86 to 1. The audience breakdown for London Has Fallen skewed towards male moviegoers (60 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers 25 years and older (76 percent). London Has Fallen received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore and has a current Flixster audience score of 63 percent, which suggest that the film is going over better with moviegoers than it has with critics.
After leading the weekend box office for each of the past three frames, Fox's Deadpool fell to third place this weekend with an estimated $16.4 million. In the process, the Ryan Reynolds led blockbuster antihero film surpassed the $300 million domestic mark this weekend, which made it the first X-Men universe film ever to do so (without adjusting for ticket price inflation). Deadpool decreased a sizable 47 percent from last weekend's performance, as the film took a hit from the added presence of both Zootopia and London Has Fallen in the marketplace. The 24-day total for Deadpool stands at a massive $311.16 million. That is an extremely impressive 51 percent stronger than the $206.26 million 24-day take of 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Paramount's Whiskey Tango Foxtrot debuted in fourth place with an estimated $7.60 million. The R-rated comedy starring Tina Fey opened below expectations and registered one of the lower debuts of a wide release staring Fey to date. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot opened 34 percent below the $11.56 million start of 2014's This is Where I Leave You and opened just 24 percent above the $6.15 million debut of 2013's Admission. At the end of the day, being a war comedy made Whiskey Tango Foxtrot a much tougher sell than most of Fey's previous films.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot opened with $2.43 million on Friday, increased a sizable 32 percent on Saturday to take in $3.20 million and is estimated to fall 39 percent on Sunday to gross $1.97 million. That gives Whiskey Tango Foxtrot an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.13 to 1. The film skewed towards female moviegoers (56 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (89 percent). Whiskey Tango Foxtrot received a modest B rating on CinemaScore and has a current Flixster audience score of 64 percent. With word of mouth appearing to be mixed, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is unlikely to hold up as well as Fey's films have tended to do in the past.
Meanwhile, Gods of Egypt rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $5.00 million. Lionsgate's expensive action fantasy film was down a very sharp 65 percent from last weekend's already soft debut. Gods of Egypt has grossed just $22.85 million in ten days, which is especially disappointing with both the film's price tag and the action fantasy genre in mind.
Saturday Update: Disney's Zootopia scored an excellent $19.469 million opening day on Friday, easily taking first place with the second highest March opening day ever for an animated title (behind Ice Age: The Meltdown's $21.8 million) and the best ever among the month's original animated films. Yesterday's fantastic start also topped Disney Animation's previous hit, Big Hero 6, by over 23 percent. Early word of mouth is incredibly strong across all ages with a phenomenal 98 percent critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes and an equally impressive 95 percent Flixster score this morning. There's no doubt the film will be playing strongly for weeks to come as Disney's Midas touch extends to yet another film. For the weekend, BoxOffice projects a tally around $70.3 million with potential to go a bit higher. That number, though, would send it past The Lorax's $70.2 million to become the highest March opening weekend ever for an animated release. It would also give Disney three of the top four March opening weekends of all-time (Alice In Wonderland's $116 million and Oz the Great and Powerful's $79.1 million trail only The Hunger Games' $152.5 million March record).
Focus Features' London Has Fallen bagged an opening day of $7.591 million, a fairly healthy start for the action sequel despite coming in 24.5 percent behind the $10.06 million first day of its 2013 predecessor, Olympus Has Fallen. Early reception for the sequel appears lukewarm as well with a 63 percent Flixster score this morning, although significantly better than the 27 percent mark from Rotten Tomatoes critics. By comparison, Taken 3 and Non-Stop earned respective Flixster scores of 73 percent and 74 percent after their first days. For the weekend, we're projecting London to take in close to $20.5 million. From there, the sequel will need to perform well overseas to justify the pic's estimated $105 million production budget.
Deadpool tacked on another $4.7 million yesterday, per Fox. That marks a 47 percent week-to-week decline and brings its domestic haul up to an impressive $299.5 million through just 22 days. By comparison, the film stands 25 percent ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy's had $239.1 million through the same point. The "Merc with a Mouth" should take in around $17 million this weekend.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot debuted in third place on Friday with an estimated $2.434 million opening day. Despite Tina Fey's considerable fan base, that marks a relatively disappointing start for the war dramedy as it came in just ahead of fellow Tina-led Admission's $2.05 million first day. Word of mouth is divided early on with a 64 percent audience score, "B" CinemaScore, and 61 percent critic rating, but Fey's presence could ultimately help the film eek out some type of staying power in the coming weeks. BoxOffice projects a $6.9 million opening weekend.
Gods of Egypt claimed fifth place on Friday with $1.34 million, down 72 percent from last Friday and giving it an eight-day haul of $19.2 million. BoxOffice projects $4.4 million this weekend.
Three-time Oscar winner The Revenant continued to enjoy post-awards momentum as it decreased just 9 percent from last Friday to $0.885 million in seventh place yesterday. Naturally, Leo's Best Actor win is the largest attribution to the second wave of interest in the film which has now amassed $173.5 million domestically. BoxOffice projects a $3.5 million weekend.
Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight nearly doubled its theater count this weekend from 685 to 1,227, resulting in a $477,303 take on Friday. That brings the film to $40.3 million in all domestically up to this point. Look for a weekend figure around $2.1 million.
Last but not least, Star Wars: The Force Awakens eased 37 percent from last Friday to $0.42 million yesterday. The all-time domestic champion's total now stands at $927.4 million as its theatrical run begins to wind down ahead of its home video release in April. This weekend should tally around $1.8 million.
Unfortunately, Fox had not released opening day figures for The Other Side of the Door at the time of publishing.
Friday Update: Sources report that Zootopia landed an estimated $1.7 million from Thursday night's first shows, an excellent start ahead of the weekend that bests Disney Animation's previous $1.4 million Thursday earnings of Big Hero 6. It also blows past SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water's $0.56 million last February and The LEGO Movie's $0.4 million two years ago. All told, this weekend is shaping up to be another excellent one for the Mouse House as Zootopia aims for $65-70 million or more.
London Has Fallen took in an estimated $850,000 last night. Unfortunately, the best comparison would be its predecessor -- Olympus Has Fallen -- but that film didn't receive Thursday night shows three years ago. Although London wasn't expected to go this high, an appropriate comp may be Taken 3 which bowed to $1.6 million Thursday night grosses in January 2015. That would translate to the expected high-teen/low-20 millions for London this weekend.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot has no official reported grosses yet this morning, but multiple sources report an estimate in the range of $320,000-350,000. That's somewhat ahead of last fall's Burnt, another star-driven comedy/drama that went mostly under the radar.
Full weekend estimates will be reported on Saturday morning with official Friday estimates from the studios.